A Special Ingredient for Every Meal
Mealtime and cooking is often fraught with anxiety and fear for those who struggle with their weight. If this applies to you, transform your eating habits and your relationship with food by creating new memories and positive associations. Here's a special recipe to show you how.
Whether positive or negative, longstanding attitudes and reactions to food and mealtime often originate from childhood. If you're someone who eats for emotional reasons, and has an ongoing problem with your weight, associations to food, cooking, mealtime and kitchens may be complicated and perhaps layered with guilt and fear.
For example, you may have painful childhood memories of being shamed at the dinner table, or of hiding food and binge eating alone in your bedroom. Or, perhaps it was as an adult when you began to use food to calm anxiety or soothe sadness and this may contribute to weight issues today.
A Special Recipe
To help you move past painful associations and create new, positive memories, I'd like to share with you this lovely story recently told to me by a dear friend:
"A young child grew up watching her mother prepare their family meals. At the end of food preparation she noticed her mother, Anna, would always reach over the stove and bring down a beautifully carved old box. Anna would open the box, take a pinch of the ingredient and add this to the food. The young child asked her mother, "What is in the box?" Anna would always reply, "An old family recipe - a family secret."
The young child watched her mother repeat this ritual many times over the years. When the young child was grown with a daughter of her own, she was given the carved box upon her mother's death. She, too, performed the daily ritual of Anna's box, and told her young daughter, "It's a family secret." The young daughter was very curious about the contents of this magical box and could hardly wait to find out its mysterious secrets. The years passed and she forgot about the special box.
When her mother passed on many years later, she inherited the carved box. She was so excited to finally receive this gift and discover its hidden secrets. Holding it gently, she slowly opened the beautifully carved box only to find it empty. Surprised at first, she then smiled and lovingly closed the lid. She now realized that the box did contain a special recipe. It was a recipe for the love a person has for her family - a reminder to cook with love. It was the intention and action of looking into the box and remembering to add a pinch of love to every dish prepared that created the magic of Anna's box."
Create Your Own "Anna's Box"
When we bless our food with love, we neutralize negative associations. When we make our kitchens a sacred space, we bring an energy of calm and peacefulness to what previously may have been fraught with ambivalence and inner chaos.
Find a beautiful container to symbolically hold love and gratitude. Keep it in a special place in your kitchen. Offer love and gratitude to each meal you make and to everything you eat.
When away from home, offer love and gratitude to your food. Whether you are eating a snack or a full meal, eating to manage anxiety or calmly enjoying dinner, home alone or at a restaurant with friends, with no judgment, simply mentally project the energy of love to your food.
As simple as this may sound, taking a moment to add the sacred and special ingredient of love and gratitude to your food will help your weight release journey flow more smoothly. Anxiety and fear always transform into peace and calm when enveloped in the power of love.
How will creating your own "Anna's Box" help you in your weight release journey?
Diane Petrella, MSW is a psychotherapist and life coach. She offers her clients a spiritual approach to weight release and helps them develop a loving, respectful relationship with their bodies. Receive a free copy of Diane’s Seven Easy & Effortless Weight Loss Secrets by signing up for her monthly e-newsletter, Living Lightly, for spiritual insights and tips to release weight with confidence and love. To contact Diane directly visit her website at www.dianepetrella.com.